NJ Politics Digest: When Phil Met Kim

Phil Murphy, second from left. Kevin B. Sanders for Observer

After months of circling each other and trading rhetorical blows from afar, it’s debate day in New Jersey for Kim Guadagno and Phil Murphy, the major-party candidates for governor in the Nov. 7 election.

Follow along this evening as Observer NJ delivers real-time coverage via a live blog, as well as fact checks, analysis and photos from the event at NJPAC in Newark.

Although Guadagno has trailed Murphy in the polls for months, a sizable chunk of the electorate still doesn’t know either candidate, and the debate — broadcast live in the New York and Philadelphia markets (and on Twitter, for all the cord-cutters out there) — presents a golden opportunity to define the rest of the race and possibly sway undecideds.

Here’s a refresher on Guadagno and one on Murphy from June.

Quote of the Day: “You’re not going to be happy until you put a train on the ground.” — Andrew Keefe, Amtrak’s head of track maintenance, during a meeting in March just weeks before derailments started at Penn Station.

Guadagno Once Again Inflates Cost of Murphy’s Platform
Trailing in the polls, Guadagno has zeroed in all year on Murphy’s plans to raise some taxes to ramp up funding for schools, public-worker pensions and other Democratic priorities. But in describing her opponent’s plans, Guadagno sometimes goes farther than Murphy himself, and she ends up putting words in his mouth that make his proposals seem costlier and scarier for New Jersey’s beleaguered taxpayers.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Guadagno, Murphy to Face Off in First NJ Governor Debate
With a month left before the election, Democrat Phil Murphy and Republican Kim Guadagno will face off Tuesday in the first of two televised gubernatorial debates.
Christian Hetrick, Observer Read more

Before Derailments at Penn Station, Competing Priorities Led to Disrepair
Amtrak officials knew for years that they would have to replace large sections of deteriorating track in Pennsylvania Station in New York City. As engineering crews applied short-term fixes to rows of rotted ties, crumbling concrete and eroded steel, some of their managers repeatedly warned of the growing need to address underlying problems.
New York Times Read more

Backed by gun control group, Murphy faults Guadagno’s stand on bump stocks
After an endorsement from a gun control advocacy group, Phil Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor, criticized Republican opponent Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Monday for not taking a stronger stance for tighter gun control laws in the immediate aftermath of the Las Vegas mass shooting.
The Record Read more

Guadagno attacks Murphy for support of sanctuary cities
Less than 24 hours after the Trump White House released a list of demands for immigration reform, including denying federal funds and grants to so-called sanctuary cities and states that interfere with the enforcement of immigration law, Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno sounded off.
NJTV Watch

Lt. Gov. candidate Sheila Oliver wants to hear all viewpoints
Oliver, Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, says she inherited her love of education and social justice and respect for entrepreneurship from her family.  Those were the topics of conversation at dinner, especially while she was earning a BA cum laude in Sociology from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and an MS in planning and administration from Columbia University.
Jersey Journal Read more

N.J. shifts affordable housing funds beyond state’s inner cities
New affordable housing in New Jersey has long been planted, in large part, in communities where there are poor people. But in a major change, the Christie Administration has begun steering more funding for low-income projects beyond just the urban neighborhoods of the state’s largest cities.
NJ.com Read more

Jersey City mayor, challenger pledge to adopt ‘Vision Zero’
Mayor Steve Fulop and challenger attorney Bill Matsikoudis said last week that they would implement Vision Zero, a program aimed at eliminating traffic fatalities.
NJ.com Read more

Lakewood schools lawyer’s $600G deal questioned by NJ AG
The Lakewood school board’s costly contract with its lawyer may violate state education regulations, New Jersey Attorney General’s Office officials say.
Asbury Park Press Read more

A year after Taj Mahal closure, Atlantic City has a different feeling
When the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort closed its doors for good, it signaled the continuation of one of the darkest eras in the history of the city.
Press of Atlantic City Read more

NJ Politics Digest: When Phil Met Kim